MacArthur Fellows Program

Anna Curtenius Roosevelt

Archaeologist | Class of 1988

New York, New York
42 at time of award
Area of Focus
Published August 1, 1988

About Anna's Work

Anna Roosevelt is an archaeologist who studies the tropical lowlands of the Orinoco basin of Venezuela and the Amazon basin of Brazil.

Roosevelt has combined her field research with theoretical interests in human ecology and evolution.  Her investigations have helped to establish the river basins of tropical South America as areas of prehistorical social innovation.  Her excavations with geophysicists in Amazonia use geophysical sensing to map cultural stratigraphy, features, and artifacts.  Her excavations at the settlements of early hunter-gatherers have helped document the history of human-environment interaction in the tropical forest.  She has also conducted surveys and excavations in the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo for the Congo Basin Project.  Roosevelt is the author of numerous books and articles on archaeological topics, including Moundbuilders of the Amazon: Geophysical Archaeology on Marajo Island, Brazil (1991) and The Excavations at Corozal, Venezuela (1996).


Roosevelt is a professor of anthropology at the University of Illinois, Chicago.  She served previously as the curator of archaeology at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago.

Roosevelt received a B.A. (1968) from Stanford University, and received an M.A. (1974) and Ph.D. (1977) from Columbia University.

Last updated January 1, 2005.

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